DJ Ratty – Radio Shows – 1996

I think most people will know DJ Ratty as a DJ that mixed up hardcore/jungle/jungle-techno, and also for the music that he made (e.g. on labels like Formation Records). I missed a lot of that when I was younger. I became a fan of Ratty around 1996 via radio. I didn’t look old enough to go to the events and so my main way of accessing the music was record shopping and radio. Jungle/DnB felt like it was evolving enormously, the music was taking off in different directions. Around 1996 MC Magika (well known MC in Hardcore/Jungle) had a show on Radio XL (1296 AM – the station predominantly played South Asian music) that was broadcast every week, and the show would alternate with Happy Hardcore one week and Jungle/DnB the next. Ratty and Ned Ryder used to take it in turns to do the Jungle/DnB shows.

Getting back to the point of this. Ratty’s shows were a favourite of mine, I wasn’t a religious listener but I checked them out every now and then. The radio show took place mid-week, it would start at 12 AM and finish at 1 AM. I’d stay up and hit the record button on the tape deck, go to sleep for 45 mins and then turn the tape over and hit record again. In the morning I’d wake up and listen to these shows on the way to school and back home. Unfortunately I lost a few of the tapes, and
some got reused because there were a lot of radio shows supporting the music (I think Radio 1’s ‘One in the Jungle’ show had also started regularly around this time, and there were local pirates too – e.g. Kool Midlands (Birmingham), Hot FM (Birmingham), Underground FM (Wolverhampton). As well as doing shows on Radio XL, Ratty also guested on Shock C’s show on Choice FM, this was at the time when Shock C was looking after the Jungle/DnB music at Summit Records in Birmingham town.

The music that Ratty played on these shows during this time was a breath of fresh air to me. I was too young to go out to clubs as mentioned earlier, and I was craving to hear the variety within the music. I wanted to hear dark stuff, the atmospheric stuff, top quality fresh upfront music across the board etc. Ratty was playing things like Sentinel’s (aka Photek) Toulepleu on Basement Records, the Ed Rush 12” on Metalheadz, some of the deeper stuff on Formation/5HQ, remixes by Ray Keith, a good mixture of deepness and tear out. Some of it was totally different to the stuff I was hearing on some of the pirates, Ratty’s radio shows at the time schooled me up. I can’t emphasise enough how much of an impact listening to Ratty during this period was for me. I don’t think I’ve properly translated what I meant to in writing this but hopefully you get the idea by listening to these shows.

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